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Old 07-20-2008, 12:13 PM   #1
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must have been in LaLa land the day we pulled the cables from my house panel to my shop (3#2's about 60ft. in 1 1/2" pvc). At the time I didn't know diddly about sub-panels and whatnot. He forgot to add a ground. It was no picnic pulling/feeding the #2's and the conduit looks pretty full to me so I don't see sneeking the ground in is going to happen without a lot of pain. Any suggestions? Is it ok just to bury another conduit with the ground or should I bite the bullet and yank the cables and start over?
Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-20-2008, 12:32 PM   #2
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Pull all the cables out, and size up to a 2" Conduit. 1 1/2 is on the small size for #2.

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Old 07-20-2008, 12:40 PM   #3
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THWN wiring? Yeah, 1.5" may be a little small esp. if there are a lot of bends (you don't have over 360 deg, do you?). You cannot install another conduit for the ground; all conductors associated with the feeder must be in the same raceway. You could for the heck of it try to pull the ground wire (nothing lost).
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:06 PM   #4
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Ouch, that was like a stake in my heart! I'm going to try sugestion #2 and sneek in the wire. It has 2 90 sweeps. Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyjames View Post
must have been in LaLa land the day we pulled the cables from my house panel to my shop (3#2's about 60ft. in 1 1/2" pvc). At the time I didn't know diddly about sub-panels and whatnot. He forgot to add a ground. It was no picnic pulling/feeding the #2's and the conduit looks pretty full to me so I don't see sneeking the ground in is going to happen without a lot of pain. Any suggestions? Is it ok just to bury another conduit with the ground or should I bite the bullet and yank the cables and start over?
Thanks in advance.
Is this a detached building?
Are there no other metallic paths between the buildings? (water pipe, gas, intercom, telephone, coax, etc)
Is your jurisdiction on the 2005 or previous National Electric Code?

If you answer "yes" to all 3 questions, you still have a legal install.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:12 PM   #6
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Ouch, that was like a stake in my heart! I'm going to try sugestion #2 and sneek in the wire. It has 2 90 sweeps. Thanks for the info.
JOOC, what is the size of the breaker that is feeding this shop?
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:17 PM   #7
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One other thing...

It may be possible to tie a rope or mule line to one of the #2's, pull that conductor out and then use the rope to pull it, along with your ground, through the pipe. If it is jammed though, you'll probably have to pull all three back out (and pull a rope in as you do). When you guys pulled in the 3-#2's originally, did you use any pulling lubricant? Make sure whatever you wind up doing that you have someone at one end to pull and a helper at the other end to feed the conductors in. You can buy a bottle of lube at Lowes/HD.

Good luck!
Jimmy
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JohnJ0906 View Post
Is this a detached building?
Are there no other metallic paths between the buildings? (water pipe, gas, intercom, telephone, coax, etc)
Is your jurisdiction on the 2005 or previous National Electric Code?

If you answer "yes" to all 3 questions, you still have a legal install.

Yes, detached
Yes, no other mechanicals from house to shop.
Actually, this install was done at least 8 years ago, so I don't even know how to answer that.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:39 PM   #9
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JOOC, what is the size of the breaker that is feeding this shop?
100 amp breaker.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:43 PM   #10
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One other thing...

It may be possible to tie a rope or mule line to one of the #2's, pull that conductor out and then use the rope to pull it, along with your ground, through the pipe. If it is jammed though, you'll probably have to pull all three back out (and pull a rope in as you do). When you guys pulled in the 3-#2's originally, did you use any pulling lubricant? Make sure whatever you wind up doing that you have someone at one end to pull and a helper at the other end to feed the conductors in. You can buy a bottle of lube at Lowes/HD.

Good luck!
Jimmy
I think we did but I'm not 100% sure on the use of lube. I think the logical way to approach this is to try your first suggestion and if that doesn't work go with the second. If none of the above then dig it all up and start over. Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:52 PM   #11
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Or should I just leave it all the way it is? It would be a major project redoing everything, and like John from Baltimore suggested it's a legal install. If so what about grounding the sub-panel?
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:08 PM   #12
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In the sub panel, the neutrals (whites) and grounds (bare and green) should be bonded together - usually in the same bus bar - the same as the main service.
You also need a ground rod, or other grounding electrode.

This is a legal method, until the 2008 Code.
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:25 PM   #13
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Pull all the cables out, and size up to a 2" Conduit. 1 1/2 is on the small size for #2.
Poor advice.

You didn't ask when the installation was performed to see if it met code when installed. And you want him to replace his existing conduit even though an 1.5" pvc can hold up to 6 #2 wires??

Rustyjames, follow John's advice. This used to be a VERY common installation.
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:26 PM   #14
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John and Cow,

Thank you, you made my day!

Last edited by rustyjames; 07-20-2008 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:33 PM   #15
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I was thinking (I tend to be somewhat obessive/compulsive about doing the simplest projects). Should I try to see if I can run the ground in the raceway or just leave it and go finish one of the other many projects I have going on?

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